Learn to play five easy songs that should be in every fingerpicker's repertoire: "Railroad Bill," "My Creole Belle," "Cocaine Blues," "Freight Train," "Make Me A Pallet On Your Floor."
Happy plays each tune in its simplest form, then moves the appropriate notes off the beat (while the bass maintains its steady, on-the-beat rhythm) so you can clearly understand where the syncopated notes go. Finally, you'll add important techniques-hammer-ons, pull-offs, bass runs, jump notes, walk-ups, turnarounds-to make all your playing come alive. You'll soon be ready to create your own arrangements to any fingerpicking tune!
"The first thing I want to do is thank you for your fine lessons. I am a self taught flatpicker and have played for over 15 years. I wanted to learn fingerstyle, but was frustrated because it seemed too difficult and tedious to learn on my own. After finally deciding that I could wait no longer, I found a tablature book and a teacher. This still did not work well enough. In my desperation, I bought Happy Traum's "Easy Fingerpicking Favorites." Thanks to his incredible teaching style, I learned fingerstyle (alternating bass and melody) in about two weeks. Since then, I have been able to incorporate my general guitar knowledge into fingerstyle and have arranged several tunes. I now can learn Mississippi John Hurt, Elizabeth Cotten orEtta Baker by ear. Thanks for the know how!" - B. A. (by email)